Swatting away criticism of the recently drafted Surrogacy Bill, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday asserted that the Centre had to introduce it as commercial surrogacy had become a ‘money making racket’ and was not benefitting genuine cases where people needed to be helped.
“When it comes to the surrogacy bill, we must realise that our government differentiated between commercial surrogacy which had become a money making racket and genuine cases where people needed to be helped,” BJP leader Shaina NC told ANI here. Asserting that there is a provision within the law which suggests that if one cannot conceive a child, they may use surrogacy in terms of a relative to help them out, Shaina added that there are several other similar clauses put in place by the government to help people out. “I don’t think anyone in their right senses will want to reject this bill,” Shaina said.
However, the Congress came down heavily on the Centre, saying that the Bill resembled a ‘draft from the Stone Age’ and was brought out by “surrogate organisations” like the RSS and the VHP. “Why are they restricting surrogacy only to married couples? Surrogacy could be desired by widows, live-in partners and NRIs among others. They have delegated the drafting of this surrogacy bill perhaps to the surrogate RSS and VHP. This is a surrogate delegation to surrogate agencies,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. The Bill aims at prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that the bill was introduced as India emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples, and added that the government is aware of unethical practices. Criticising the practice of commercial surrogacy, Swaraj said, “What started as a need, has now turned into a hobby.” The Bill will be introduced during the winter session of Parliament.